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Sandals Grande St. Lucian: Day 2-4

COlumbus, OH
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28 posts
25 reviews
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Sandals Grande St. Lucian: Day 2-4

ok, so my days are running together and it is Wednesday morning - so I've got a few more days under my belt - let me remind myself of what we did...

Day Two was room service breakfast, hang out around the pool, and dinner at toscaninis

Day three was room service breakfast, pigeon island hike, hang out, Manager's cocktail reception, and dinner at the Caribbean beach party (sandals event)

Day four was breakfast at Toscaninis, zip line adventure, get a drink, dinner at Kimono's at Regency.

OK, so room service breakfast is getting old. It is awesome that you can eat on the balcony but the menu is limited to omeletes, breakfast meat, fruits, and toast. It is sufficient and delicious but sometimes you want a bit more. We've really liked Toscaninis for breakfast - and their well chilled champagne. They have the same breakfast foods but are better prepares - I like my eggs benedict and Toscaninis does it well. We'll probably breakfast there each remaining morning.

** breakfast there this morning was annoying. We got there about 9am and they closed at 10am. Staff was more concerned with closing then serving. Other than that, the food was good, as usual.

Toscaninis for dinner is nice. They try to upsell you to a 'managers selection' wine, but really, the house wine (Beringer) is just fine for us - we do not consider ourselves wine enthusiasts. I had veal; she had chicken. Both were good - pasta was well cooked. Caprisi salads were small. Chef's Anitpasto selection was funny - one black olive, one green olive, one sliver of roaster yellow pepper, and one slice of marinated egg plant. Tasty but small :)

** I am still trying to get a good bottle of vodka for the mini bar... it is awaiting manager approval now...fingers are crossed! **

I mentioned before, Pigeon Island hike is an awesome "must do". Zipline yesterday was fun - I booked the one through the hotel excursion desk "Treetop adventure" with Jungle George. $200.00 per couple, 75 - 90 min busride each way but the tourguide, George, is very personable and keeps the group engaged so the trip flies by. Once you get to the park, you do 11 ziplines. Very easy and very safe - even for me who is not a fan of heights. On the way back to the hotel, George found a boa constrictor that was crossing the road so stopped, caught it and provided a good photo opp. He also stopped and picked a cocoa pod so we could sample the cocoa bean before it is processed. Then stopped at a local vendor and purcased local grapefruit for all of us - delicious! So much better than what we get in teh states. I usually eat more splenda than grapefruit - this needed no sweetener. Tips are optional but you should certainly tip George - he goes way above and beyond to make your trip worth it. I gave him $20 USD.

That will probably be the last offsite excusrion for us - we really want to chill and enjoy the beach/pool.

SO last night was dinner at Kimonos - reservations for 6pm. We went to lobby to catch the 5pm transport - We almost didnt make it b/c the buses between properties were full. There are two buses that leave the grande on each hour - one goes straight to Regency; the other goes to Halcyon and Regency. The 1st bus was full and we barely made the 2nd bus - each bus holds 24 people. When we reached Halcyon, everyone else on the bus disembarked with their beach bags- I guess it is true that the other properties make heavy use of Grande facilities. Leaving Regency and getting back to Grande was stressful as well with everyone jockying for position to make sure they got a seat on the bus. It merely reinforced that we certainly made the right decision on choosing the Grande.

So anyway, Kimonos was good. 10 people around the grill - just like any American Japanese Steakhouse except for less food. Each person orders a 'teaser' and an appetizer. Then the main course is shared. I ordered miso soup (it is red miso) for teaser and TWO appetizers - vege eggroll and tuna sashimi. Table chuckled when I ordered two but the joke was on them when they arrived. Eggroll is one half of a normal eggroll, futher divided into two pieces. Tuna sashimi is one slice of tuna sashimi. So when you go, order two or three unless you've had your stomach stapled.

Shared courses: Seafood course - one mussel, two shrimp, one sliver of mahi mahi. Main course - fried rice, chicken, steak. The main course was a decent serving of both chicken and steak.

We lucked out - our table was awesome and all 10 of us got along VERY well. Together, we went through 6 bottles of pinot grigio and a couple bottles of merlot. They eventually kicked us out from around the grill and to the outside patio where we continued the party where we had a few more bottles of chardonay (they said they ran out of pinot). One of the most fun dinners we've had; made even better by the company.

** good news! As I write this, the concierge delivered a bottle of Absolut in trade for my other vodka, gin, and whisky! Way to go, Sandals! **

SO overall, things are working out well. You just have to ask and follow through on your requests. I am not a fan of moving around the properties for dinner so we'll probably cancel our remaining reservations at La Toc and the Pier and stay here. That will make a couple people happy b/c as of yesterday, the restaurants are FULL. Make your reservations on the first day you arrive or else you'll be disappointed.

My wife's tip: Keep your beach towels from the previous day so you can reserve the premium spots EARLY. They don't put out fresh towels until 7-8am and by then, the spots have been taken!

Dyer, Indiana
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149 posts
14 reviews
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1. Re: Sandals Grande St. Lucian: Day 2-4

Can you make restaurant reservations BEFORE you even arrive at the resort and check in?

Interesting story about trading 3 bottles of liquor for 1 Absolut. I assume you never bothered to open the generic bottles? I wonder if you tried them and didn't like them if Sandals would accomodate you with a better brand.

COlumbus, OH
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28 posts
25 reviews
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2. Re: Sandals Grande St. Lucian: Day 2-4

you make reservations after you arrive.

We did try the other brands as they were already opened and had a pour spout.

Los Angeles...
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59 posts
12 reviews
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3. Re: Sandals Grande St. Lucian: Day 2-4

Any Grey Goose anywhere on the resort? Antigua didnt have it but Whitehouse did in the piano bar. Thanks for all the blogs! Looking forward to getting there in three weeks!

Columbus, Ohio
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4. Re: Sandals Grande St. Lucian: Day 2-4

Excellent tip on the beach towels. It has always "my" task to go down & secure a spot on the beach. Before anyone complains...we actually do sit in our spots all day long. But I have gone down @ 7:30 or so & there is nothing with which to claim the spot. I wish you didn't have to do this, but everyone else does, so we have to as well. Same on cruise ship pool spots. What really irks me are people who claim spots & never show up...ALL DAY!!!

UK
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28 reviews
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5. Re: Sandals Grande St. Lucian: Day 2-4

Ha, just throw the towels off and claim they were off when you got there, so you had every right to claim the place yourself. That'll learn 'em.

Los Angeles...
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59 posts
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6. Re: Sandals Grande St. Lucian: Day 2-4

One more question... Do they have any other beer on tap there other than Piton or Heineken?

Maybe Red Stripe????

England
Destination Expert
for St. Lucia
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7. Re: Sandals Grande St. Lucian: Day 2-4

Fascinating!

I love the idea of doing a deal with Sandals to get some decent Vodka. I wonder what their "trade-in" would be for Grey Goose? We need to know! So you now have a challenge..... (mental note to self to pack a bottle of Grey Goose on our next trip!)

The whole towel thing is hilarious. Unless I am getting up early for scuba I never get down to the beach until around 10:30 or later, by which time the best beach spots are all gone at Windjammer. This forces us to take up residence by the pool instead but it is not really an issue. I really object on principle to having to get up SO early to book a space on the beach- I am supposed to be on holiday after all! I know this is not just a Sandals thing, it happens everywhere. At Ti Kaye this is not usually a problem as George and Co. get out the sunloungers and umbrellas for the guests upon request and it is a bit more civilised.

Enjoy the rest of your holiday and don't Blog too much :-)

Tours, France
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8. Re: Sandals Grande St. Lucian: Day 2-4

I thought the idea of putting beach towels on sun beds early to claim them died out years ago. I remember in Spain a certain nationality was renown for doing that early in the morning, and then quite often not appearing again until the afternoon.

In my opinion it is very selfish and anti social.

Most good hotels now have somebody who goes around regularly and removes beach towels if no one has been on the sun bed. I have been known to do that myself when I arrive at the pool to find no empty sun beds, but lots with just towels on them.

COlumbus, OH
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28 posts
25 reviews
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9. Re: Sandals Grande St. Lucian: Day 2-4

No grey Goose, sorry. For vodkas they have Smirnoff, Absolut, Stoli, and the bottom of the well brand.

Beer is Heineken or Piton. That is all.

This isn't a complaint, just an observation. The drinks here suck for us true alcoholics :) I am not going to speculate but I have a theory that they water down the bottles to prevent people from getting too hammered too early. You can observe a HUGE pour but when you sample the drink, you're lucky to taste alcohol (i know, some do not like the tase but I DO!)

One thing I've learned is that you NEED to tell them exactly what you want. If you do not specify to use Cointreau in the margaritas, you're getting triple sec ... same with cosmos.

Anyway, weather here is absolutly beautiful! Beach is wonderful - sun is hot and breeze is cool. Snorkling is full rest of week... we didn't know that you had to reserve spots early so make a note to yourself - reserve snorkling and dinner on first day.

Los Angeles...
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59 posts
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10. Re: Sandals Grande St. Lucian: Day 2-4

Thanks for the update! Oh well. Stoli it is. Maybe I will pick a bottle of goose up at the liquor store in Rodney Bay the day before we check in. I do like to drink beer so hopefully this Piton is decent.